Broadway’s most lovable curly-haired orphan has found a home in Philadelphia this month, adopted by one of the city’s most beloved venues: The Walnut Street Theatre.
Since it’s adaptation from a newspaper comic strip to the stage in 1976, “Annie” has been one of America’s favorite musicals. Its return to Philly has been welcomed with support and enthusiasm by devoted fans.
The Walnut Street Theatre, independently producing the show, will keep the curtains open throughout the holiday season until Jan. 4.
For those who are unfamiliar with the musical, “Annie” is the story of a cheery young orphan who is in desperate search of her birth parents. A generous billionaire named Oliver Warbucks takes her in, transforming her life from rags to riches.
A mix of raggedy orphans, the evil Miss Hannigan and an adorable pooch named Sandy contributes to the comedy of the show.
While the film version helped bring “Annie” its popularity, countless people still flock to theaters every year to watch the show where it is best performed, on stage.
What is the key ingredient that has attracted the love and loyalty of so many fans and performers over the years?
Michael French, Communications Manager for the Walnut Street Theatre, attributed the success to the play’s inspirational message.
“It is the optimism of the show. It’s set during the Depression, one of the darkest periods in history, and it’s about a girl who believes there’s a better future for herself and for everyone,” French said.
The play’s wonderful repertoire of music can also be attributed to its widespread popularity and is performed beautifully throughout the show.
Every song, from “Tomorrow” to “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” keeps the audience swaying in their chairs as they sing along with the memorable tunes.
The show’s cast is funny and entertaining. Each actor’s phenomenal voice brings power and emotion to every scene.
Patrick Quinn takes stage as Daddy Warbucks. Quinn is a Temple University grad and also the president of the Actors’ Equity Association, the union for stage actors.
Another standout performance was Deborah Jean Templin, who stirred up laughter with her dynamic portrayal of the mean-spirited Miss Hannigan.
“Annie” is the ideal show to see for the holidays. The familiar songs and characters can capture the heart of any theatergoer, young or old.
Gina Sicilia can be reached at email@example.com.